I’ve just found out that, maybe, I have been born in the wrong generation. Subscription or mystery boxes are on the rise right know, and if you’ve come across MEL Science and KiwiCo, you know what’s up.
I know I would’ve killed to have something like this as a kid. My parents know just how much of a tinkerer I am. But unfortunately, in those days, things like this were pretty much non-existent. Basically, both MEL Science and KiwiCo are subscription science boxes with a couple of experiments inside.
Simply put, it is an easy and fun way to learn about science stuff. At least that’s the whole idea. So, which one is a better subscription box? Well, we are yet to find out, as we put MEL Science and KiwiCo head-to-head to see which one is more superior.
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How Big Is The Learning Curve & Are They Beneficial?
Look, I love these boxes. But I would be lying if I said that the experiments inside have the potential to make your little one Albert Einstein. BUT, they’re probably as close as it gets to doing experiments at home which are safe and controlled.
Furthermore, MEL Science and KiwiCo boxes are probably the best stepping stone. While I’m being too harsh on these boxes, there are a lot of things to be learned from them. But I think, they’re really exceptional at one thing, and that is: Letting your child find his or her own way, expand their creativity, or find their interests and expand further down the line.
To recap, it is not like MEL Science and KiwiCo have thousands of lessons to teach, but they’re still worth it considering how well thought out they’re, and for the huge stepping stone they provide.
They’ll most likely improve most faculties for the participant, and will give enough leeway to make science and learning fun.
MEL Science VS KiwiCo – What’s The Difference?
Both of these boxes are great, I’ll just say that with relative ease. But when it comes to choosing the right one for your kid, things get tricky. Both boxes vary on things like how much parental involvement is needed, cost, type of experiments, and other things.
Basically, it all comes down to what your child is interested in, whether it be physics, chemistry, or something else, and how involved you, as a parent, want to be.
With that said, let’s look at a side-by-side comparison of MEL Science and KiwiCo:
|MEL Science VS KiwiCo|
|Boxes & Age||Kids – 5-9+ |
Physics – 8-14+
Chemistry – 10-16+
VR Science Simulations – 8-99+
|Panda Crate – 0-24 Months |
Koala – 2-4+
Kiwi – 5-8+
Atlas – 6-11+
Doodle – 14+
Tinker – 9-16+
Maker – 14-104
Eureka – 14-104
|Price||$26.20/month||$19.95 – $29.95/month|
|Subjects||Chemistry, Physics, VR Science Simulation & Kids||STEM, STEAM & Science crates|
|Parent Involvement Needed||High 5/5||Medium 3/5|
|Return Policy||Returns of damaged and defective items to be made two weeks from product shipment date.||Returns available for defective items within 14 days from product shipment date.|
|Get a science box today:|
NOTE: Prices will vary depending on the plan you choose.
We’ll get into the more fundamental differences later, which are mainly what these boxes include. Basically, one of them, MEL Science, is more well, science-based, while KiwiCo is more art, design, tinkering, and stuff like that.
Although, with these boxes, you never know. Some months the experiments are really interesting, while other times, the boxes are filled with, well, placeholder items if I’m honest.
MEL Science Review
I’m a bigger fan of MEL Science, and the little one as well. I’ll talk about how it is more impressive than KiwiCo in some regards, but for now, all you need to know is that the whole package you get with MEL Science is worth it.
Boxes come in at $26.20, which is pretty reasonable for the experiments that are included in the crate. From what I saw, MEL Science has less occasions where crates are filled with placeholder items if I’m honest.
Of course, one thing which is most talked about with MEL Science is the VR classes. I’m sure most of you saw them already on their site, but despite my poor first impressions for them, these VR classes are pretty interesting.
The simulations are aligned with the school science, chemistry, or physics curriculums. As far as I know though, these aren’t available for everyone, but rather can be bought as a tool of learning to implement in the school curriculum. In other words, people can’t buy it for themselves, only schools can do so.
But other than that, the regular crates will be enough of a stepping stone. MEL Science crates are usually well-packaged, so shipping is smooth as well, but sometimes, it can happen that a shipment is damaged.
MEL Science has a 14-day within product shipment day return policy, which is not a lot, but enough to exchange crates which are damaged during shipping.
In terms of the pros and cons of the MEL Science boxes, there aren’t that many downsides or cons if I’m honest:
- Each crate is unique and interesting
- More science-based
- Usually, more comprehensive and more complicated problems and experiments
- Crates are well-packaged
- VR Classes are only available for schools
KiwiCo on the other hand has more builder type crates. It is similar to the hands-on classes from school that we all used to have. However, the crates are still impressive nonetheless.
What is even more impressive is the fact that KiwiCo exercises a very positive review rating over more than three thousand reviews. The areas which were most note-worthy and praised were the quality of the products, and the ease of use.
Scattered in those three thousand there are some negative ones here and there but all seem very one-off instances. For example, there were a couple of reviews that mentioned poor customer service, while they were overshadowed by a hefty number of positive ones. Another thing was the difficulty to get gift cards and poor shipping times.
Like I said before, these seem to be one-time instances. I’m not saying that these issues don’t exist, but for the same issues that most customers are mentioning, there are customers which praise KiwiCo for the same exact things.
It is the same case with MEL Science as well.
Should you get KiwiCo then or MEL Science? Well, it’s hard to say. We’ll get into that later on as well, but it all comes down to personal preference, I think.
Like MEL Science, KiwiCo has some positives and negatives that one should take note of. Here is a list of the pros and cons:
- Builder-type crates
- Impeccable quality of materials
- Ease-of-use and assembly
- Good value
- We would have love to see more chemistry experiments and experiments in general included in the crates
Now that we know what each brand is about, which is more tailored for children? Well, to find that out, we thought we should put MEL Science and KiwiCo head-to-head. Not that detailed of a comparison, but more or less a debate over which one makes more sense in what instances.
MEL Science VS KiwiCo – Which Is Better?
I’ve been tiptoeing around this question for long enough. If I’m honest, I’ll pick MEL Science over KiwiCo any day of the week. That doesn’t mean that KiwiCo is bad by any stretch of the imagination, but I do prefer the former rather than the latter. Let me explain why.
MEL Science seems to have more complicated experiments and builds. The whole experiment builds up to that one moment, at which, even the parents go “Wow”, I know I have.
There are bizarre experiments that defy what we know or commonly accept as normal. The end-results are usually better than KiwiCo, and it shows both you as a parent and your little one, that there is a whole field of things which are possible, and to achieve them, you would have to dig deeper and expand on your knowledge.
The point is, the whole experience feels more unique, and it does feel like it engages children more.
There are some unique experiments down at KiwiCo as well, but I feel like both crates are very different. If you want a crate yourself, then KiwiCo has some packages for older generations as well. But ultimately, KiwiCo is easier I would say and fun, focusing more on builder-type experiments.
With that said, make sure to check out all of the packages offered by MEL Science and KiwiCo.
The Verdict: Are These Boxes Worth The Hype?
It is not like the boxes are filled with solid gold, and super high-quality materials, but to be honest, just because there isn’t anything quite the same as this, I would definitely recommend them.
They’re a really fun way to introduce science and basic rules of science into your children’s lives. They’re a great stepping stone for those interested in those particular subjects, and will definitely give its subjects enough room to make a few mistakes here and there, and learn from them.
Even as an adult, I can find myself immersed in the experience sometimes. For the low monthly fee, it is definitely worth it, as it has such a positive effect on mental ability, creativity, and more.
I urge you to check out both MEL Science and KiwiCo.
Find out what your little one is into, and pick any of the two crates, because they’re really worth it.
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